15 July 2012

Gota, Federica and Sara: A comedy of rants


When a journalist calls someone to obtain opinion about a non-issue, i.e. something that did not happen but is said to have been about to happen, it is not illegitimate, except of course that one would think that there are happened-things that ought to be focused on.  When it is done (and this is pretty clear in the case at hand, i.e. regarding a conversation with the Defence Secretary) with a view to provoke and the non-issue is dropped while the outcome of provocation is highlighted, it is still legitimate.  It is also pathetic. 

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa can import a puppy.  He can import and elephant if he wants to.  If it is legal and if he has the money, that is.  There is an element of extravagance here that will not be applauded, but that’s his baby.  When pinched to the point of exasperation, he blinked and that’s sad, especially one who did not flinch at the invective leveled against him when he took on the LTTE. 

It is now clear that he had nothing to do with any of the plans (which did not materialize) that the said journalist referred to.  He was therefore hounded in a manner unbecoming of a senior journalist and he blew his top, in a manner unbecoming of a senior official. 

Naturally the exchange has provoked a lot of response, including expressions of horror about media personnel being threatened.   The ‘horrified’ are the usual suspects, many whose sensibilities were tough enough to take in horror-creation by the LTTE.  Among them, the most amusing in fact, is Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.  The man is upset by the use of foul language.  Fair enough. He says he has called for Gotabhaya’s resignation on three occasions.  Laughable.  Saravanamuttu, a known apologist for the LTTE and a happy receiver of stolen goods (robbed from his outfit by fellow LTTE-whitewasher Sunanda Deshapriya), can’t afford to talk.  His hand-in-glove operations with LTTE supporters abroad is well documented.  So when this anti Sri Lankan ‘Sri Lankan’ seeks to speak on behalf of the public, saying that we should not pay Gotabhaya’s salary, it is funny. 

He goes on to say ‘Ms Jansz’s fellow editors have yet to rise to her support and in condemnation of this chilling exchange’.  Well, sorry Ms. Jansz.  And Mr. Defence Secretary, this was uncalled for; you should know better than to waste your breath and if you do decide to breathe this is not the way, not because Ms. Jansz is a journalist but because she is a citizen, regardless of history, political loyalties and complicity in projects that have facilitated the principal enemy of the people, the LTTE.  You are out of order, Mr. Defence Secretary and ‘heat of the moment’ is not excuse enough, ‘I was provoked’ is not enough although we do understand and sympathize.  We know you are made of sterner stuff; it is beneath you, anyway, to even bother to respond to each and every pipsqueak who wants to chit-chat with you over nothing. And sorry also, Ms. Jansz, very sorry, I can’t say ‘hurray’ about the ‘professionalism’ displayed by you.  Happy, Sara?

If people are ‘upset’ by my reluctance to pat Jansz on her back and howl with her or on her behalf, here’s some background. 

When the Athurugiriya safe house used by the Sri Lanka Army Military Intelligence Corps was exposed on January 2, 2002, she quickly moved into action. Although the then Commander of the Army clearly stating that the military intelligence team in question was engaged in covert operations and the Director of Military Intelligence confirming the fact, she went right ahead and exposed all the members engaged in the operations. Neither those ‘exposed’ nor their families whined and screamed that their lives were in danger.  They did not seek protection in Western embassies.  The LTTE hit squads eliminated almost all of them.  Now that’s the outcome of ‘responsible journalism’ I suppose.  Frankly, it is sickening.

Back to Saravanamuttu.  Towards the end of his rant, he loses it totally (well, it’s not that he has not lost it all a long time ago, I admit).  He begs the people to stand up and condemn and get Gotabhaya to resign.  He’s saying ‘I really don’t know why on earth you people are not getting it!’  He begs for ‘a groundswell of public opinion calling for his resignation or removal’ Mr. Know-All is preaching to the ‘ignorant’ now. 

His friends abroad and in Colombo’s little clubs where non Sri Lankans actually think Saravanamuttu knows anything about anything ought to read this particular missive (in the Daily Mirror) again and again.  It proves one thing: He doesn’t have a clue about how Sri Lankans think and act. 

He has strutted around as though he is actually a representation of a sizable segment of the public, simply by tagging himself ‘civil society’.   A bunch of party-goers in Colombo cannot speak for the rest of us.  They speak for themselves, even as they assume to speak for us.  This is why there is dismay and not horror about Gotabhaya blasting Jansz.  It will not generate groundswell.   And the more the likes of Saravanamuttu demand ‘groundswell’ the less likely that it will materialize, simply because objectors are pretty circumspect about what kind of fellow-objectors they will stand with. 

Here’s Saravanamuttu’s parting shot: ‘Even if we cannot transform the ugly and nasty in our midst, we must surely recognise it for such’.  I think Saravanamuttu wrote the piece sitting in front of a mirror.  Now that certainly deserves a ‘hurrah!’


Reactions:

18 comments:

P.L.J.B.Palipana said...

In American(North and South)English or Spanish that is very normal. People always uses f..ing, s..eep ete in english and come mierda, hijo de putha,
descarajo ete..ete in spanish in normal speaking. Normally Americans are very fond of animals specially the dogs and cats. That is too very normal personal matter.Very sorry!!!

K.G.P Shantha said...

As a journalist, why cant you understand uncultured and uncivilized back ground beside the scene?

Varuni fernando said...

What these pseudo journalists who are really traitors in disguise fail to consider is that we Sri lankans are truly free after 3 decades because of the strategic leadership of the defence secretary. These scum of the earth trash their own motherland and then have the audacity to come back home with their tails between their legs. Sara and Fredricka sad to say are paid to spew out hate and create disharmony. People in glass houses should not be throwing stones is all that can be said. On a positive note, Sri Lanka Can ! And None of these minions can stop that.

Wasantha Ranagala said...

This bloke Gota has the knack for getting entangled in unnecessary brawls when he got so much in his plate with war crimes, white vans da da. He got to get his upstairs scoured to ignore women of this class calling themselves jounos just because there was a time that SL had a dearth of English media personnel.

Giving undue prominence to the Kaffrinha leftovers engaged in the profession with an age old history, Gota deserves this bashing. Mild doubt also cast over the so called mastermind who eliminated the deadliest terror outfit.

Rashmi said...

Good on you Malinda Good on you. Give these good for nothing rascals left right and centre. Federica is also a good for nothing journalist same like Lasantha Wickrematunga. (Among various other bull crap he wrote, vividly remember the piece he wrote about the first lady -either Christian or a former Christian, visiting a sacred Hindu temple in India. At that time the war was full-on and people were dying and this fool was writing nonsense.)
Of course people like Saravanamuttu, Jehan Perera not to mention Deshapriya and even the old red brother Kumar David are writing either for a $100 note or a bottle of Jack Daniels.
Bobby Pereira.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Malinda.

Much needed to bring some balance to this episode.

The Leader as the Rashmi points out is well known for its garbage. It provides 'affirmation' for the 'City Slickers' and their warped beliefs.

Sara is an LTTE weapon. The suicide bomber didn't succeed. But the LTTE hasn't stopped trying to assassinate Gota.

Greg Jackson said...

It is most amusing that Mr. Seneviratne has resorted to the age old tactic of utilising attack as the best form of defense.

The point in question is not whether Mr. Saravanamuttu, Ms. Jansz, or any other may have faults; but whether it is acceptable for an elected public official to be allowed, unchecked, to abuse and threaten anyone. This point has been cleverly avoided.

Anyway, I guess Mr. Seneviratne will be well rewarded for his overt support of not only Mr. Rajapakse, but for his unstated, but obvious, support of the abuse of power exercised by the same and the ensuing violence perpetrated against the people that Mr. Rajapakse is supposed to serve,

Shaik Ahamath said...

I have the greatest respect for Frederica Jansz and she is renown to have good reason for what she writes. She fearlessly exposed Sarath Fonseka, going against her own paper,for his lies. When it comes to journalists we cannot cherry-pick on their views but try to analyse and understand why they are said. Condemning their views off hand is childish and counter-productive.

Lalindra said...

Very good article Malinda, well balanced and well written.

Dareve said...

'The point in question' seems to have been dealt with in paragraph 5.

beautiful sunshine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMack said...

Many years ago, intelligence reports on global LTTE operations identified Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu as a key advocate for the Tamil terrorists, among many others. But you don't see Saravanamuttu going to jail for it - just like many others who work on behalf of the LTTE. Note that almost all news media have v. carefully left out the massive and obvious global LTTE operations that still thrive today - that are responsible for committing tons of war crimes in SL. If you advocate for al Qaeda and Taliban here in the US, you will be burned at the cross. Outside of the US, we Americans will just 'whack' you (hint terminate), and won't even bother to ask questions later. But then when you think about it:

1. It is always easier to mass murder people in poor countries with impunity.

2. So easy to get the brown-skinned man from a developing nation cut the throat of his fellow citizen so their adversaries can gain from the bloodshed. Example: long history of divide-and-conquer approach by the US and its western allies in Portuguese-Dutch-English in SL, SL-LTTE, China-Taiwan, Russia-Georgia, Sudan-South Sudan, etc, etc.

3. It's much easier to accuse a brown-skinned man of war crimes - just ask AI, HRW, ICG, US Congressmen Jim McGovern, Brad Sherman, etc, etc.

Hence we are quite amused and ask these questions: who should be accountable to whom? Are some people more equal than others? Are some terrorists nicer than others?

JMack said...

Great job Malinda!

Anonymous said...

Jmack, I believe is an American citizen by birth - a rare specimen in deed, because most Americans do not understand or do not bother about what happens in the outside world other than what takes place inside their beloved "great super power".

Your comments about the conduct of the United States hits the nail on the head. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Malinda has to be v creative when righting something against Rajapakshes he has to cover his tracks because he is working (washing the dirty laundry) for a paper which belongs to Rajapakshe THE NATION... hahahaaaa

Rajapakshe= Puppy,Malinda

Why did he want a puppy from Swiz why not a sinhala buddhist puppy from the Dharmadweepaya?

Anonymous said...

මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ මල්ලී වන ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට එම පවුලේම අය විසින් කළමනාකරණය කරනු ලබන, මහජනාව විසින් පාඩු පියවන, ශ්‍රී ලංකන් ගුවන් සේවයේ වැඩ කරන ඔහුගේ ම ලේලියකගේ ගුවන් නියමු පෙම්වතා ලවා ස්විට්සර්ලන්තයෙන් බලු පැටවකු ගෙන එන්නටත්, බලු පැටවාට ඇති ආදරය නිසා එම ගුවන් යානය තමන් ම පදවන්නැයි ලේලිගේ පෙම්වතාගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නටත් බැරි මොකද?

බල්ලන්ට මෙතරම් සලකන පාලකයන් සිටින රටක මිනිසුන් ලෙස ඉපදීම පෙර කළ පිනක් නොවේද?

Nicodemus said...

Two Wrongs do not make one right Malinda - unfortunately you are using here same tactics that nationalist faction uses to whitewash alleged war crimes

Malinda Seneviratne said...

never said no to investigations. but why on earth should anyone submit to the justice of murderers? :)